Congregations Agree To Further Contributions

The religious orders whose practices of abuse were exposed in the recent Ryan Report have today agreed to make further substantial contributions to victims groups.

After today's meeting between the congregations, Brian Cowen and Batt O'Keeffe, the orders also agreed to an independent audit of their assets.

The meeting today came in the wake of the shocking Ryan Report published two weeks ago, which catalogued decades of systematic abuse against child victims at reformatories ran by the congregations.

The independent audit will report back to Government within two weeks, and the orders have also agreed to submit a substantial contribution to a trust and to conduct the process in an open and transparent manner.

Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe said the congregations had apologised and said they wanted to "co-operate fully" with the Government and would report back in two weeks, "when we're hoping to have made substantial progress in relation to the

substantive additional funding that they are going to put in place".

Mr Cowen said: "I must express the dismay and abhorrence which, with the whole of the population, we have experienced on reading the Report and the catalogue of suffering, deprivation and abuse which was the lot of so many children committed to institutions under the care of religious communities.

"While I recognise that you in leadership positions, like us in Government, are now faced with the consequences of actions and failings of those who have gone before you over earlier generations, some of the severest conclusions of the Commission regarding religious Congregations relate to recent attitudes and behaviour."

Mr Cowen said the congregations' response may have "profound implications" for the well-being of survivors of abuse and could influence how people, "who have been so loyally supportive of your congregations over many years", would judge the congregations' adherence to their "foundational values”.


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